Monday, August 30, 2010

Looks as though I missed another Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy chapter meeting

Darn, sounds as though assignments were given out too:
“I can’t spend all of my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead,” quipped Obama, who took a deep breath to gather his thoughts when asked if the poll reflected his inability to communicate with voters.

“The facts are the facts. We went through some of this during the campaign — there is a mechanism, a network of misinformation that in a new media era can get churned out there constantly,” said a visibly annoyed Obama, referring to “birthers,” who have waged a guerrilla campaign questioning either the existence or the validity of his Hawaiian birth certificate.

“I will always put my money on the American people, and I’m not going to be worried too much about what rumors are floating around there.”
Actually he is right on that last part, there is no need to worry about the rumors floating around when the facts are downright dismal.  Nevertheless, Obama can never quite bring himself to put the whole "birther" issue to rest can he?  Nobody ever asked him to walk around with his birth certificate plastered to his forehead but he could release the darn thing and end this line of inquiry forever.  Of course he will never do that because it gives him the opportunity to portray those who oppose him as a fringe group of crazies.

The "birther" issue also serves as a perfect deflection from the larger question why Americans feel as though they don't really know who he is.  Obama was asked, in an interview with Brian Williams, about a poll  showing nearly half of Americans have no idea what religion Obama follows.  The same poll showed that 18% believed he was a Muslim while 34% identified him as a Christian.  Obama dismissed the results of the poll and focused instead on a network of conservatives churning out misinformation he is a Muslim who wan't born in the United States.  Way to dodge the question Barack.

Peggy Noonan addressed the question the other day in The Wall Street Journal:
Liberals and the left are indignant about this, and angry. For a week all you heard from cable anchors was "PEOPLE think OBAMA is a MUSLIM. It's in the POLLS. How do you EXPLAIN it?" Every time I heard it, I'd think: Maybe it's because you keep screaming it.

Some of the reason for the relatively high number of people who believe he holds to one faith when in fact he has always said he holds to another, is the steady drumbeat of the voices arrayed against Mr. Obama, that are arrayed against any modern president, and will be against the next one too. But surely some of it is that a lot of people are just trying to figure him out. In that atmosphere they'll consider everything.

When the American people have looked at the presidents of the past few decades they could always sort of say, "I know that guy." Bill Clinton: Southern governor. Good ol' boy, drawlin', flirtin', got himself a Rhodes Scholarship. "I know that guy." George W. Bush: Texan, little rough around the edges, good family, youthful high jinks, stopped drinking, got serious. "I know that guy." Ronald Reagan was harder to peg, but you still knew him: small-town Midwesterner, moved on and up, serious about politics, humorous, patriotic. "I know that guy." Barack Obama? Sleek, cerebral, detached, an academic from Chicago by way of Hawaii and Indonesia. "You know what? I don't know that guy!"

He doesn't fit any categories. He won in 2008 by 9.5 million votes anyway because he was a break with Mr. Bush, and people assumed they'd get to know him. But his more unusual political decisions, and the sometimes contradictory and confusing nature of his leadership, haven't ameliorated or done away with his unusualness. They've heightened it.
Noonan believes that Americans may yet discover they know Obama; they'll see him as the moderate when the newly-elected Republican-controlled Congress devolves into a freak show.  I find it difficult to imagine any freak show out-freaking the current freak show.  Sure there are plenty who are still worried Republicans haven't learned their lesson but I imagine we will at least be spared the Christmas Eve votes for ObamaCare at a minimum.  We may even get someone who can help Obama with his Mary Poppins problem.  Say, I wonder if that fence was a plot conceived at a VRWC chapter meeting.


  1. On the Birther issue, I don't see what we gain even if he wasn't born in HI. For the record, I think he was. We would then have Joe no excuse for how dangerously incompetent he is Biden. I equate this issue to Dems still fixated on Florida in 2000.

  2. I agree, the birther issue is a loser. I personally think he was born in HI which is why I generally stay away from the topic. I do, however, think he keeps the issue alive because it serves him well when he attempts to paint his critics as fringe. He could completely shut the whole issue down but why should he really? My larger point too was that he used it to completely avoid the question that most Americans seem less certain of who he is over time.


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